Just spent the last couple of days at Microsoft Dynamics annual user conference, Convergence, in Atlanta. Besides a mind-blowing keynote from Malcolm Gladwell (well-chosen, Microsoft!), I found very compelling a demo from newly-announced CRM Dynamics partner, ExactTarget, which is fully utilizing Klout, the internet application that is supposed to measure your "clout" in the real world.
Enough has been said on this site and elsewhere about Klout's flaws, including this excellent piece from Marshall Sponder, but that hasn't stopped its growing popularity as a way to measure whether or not you matter, at least to a CRM system. (Full sour grapes disclosure, while our site has pretty decent Klout, my personal clout score is in the basement.)
That's of course because Klout can only measure your online activity and most particularly your twitter account and facebook activity. But as leading CRM guru and my friend (and Advisor to our sister site, TheCustomerCollective) Paul Greenberg notes, "you can only measure what can be measured. And because online activity can be measured, all of a sudden it's critical to how influential you are. It's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Gladwell, ever the social media realist, did not address the Klout phenomenon, but he did tip his hat to the power of technology to inform decision-making. Using among many brilliant analogies (be sure to check out the video once Microsoft posts it), Gladwell notes that since instant replay has been available, the "home team advantage," which stems from referees giving better calls to the home team, has been down by a third.
So. When your call comes to customer service, the customer-service rep can now tell by your Klout score how influential you are. Does this mean that Justin Bieber is going to get a bunch better service and attention? And Bill Keller, the Executive Editor of the New York Times, gets the room next to the elevator?